How Much Does It Cost to Flush a Transmission?
The automatic or manual transmission gears are responsible for delivering power to the wheels.The lubricants are essential to protect the bearings, gears, and shaft from wear and tear. Regardless how much does a transmission flush costs, it is a necessary preventive maintenance procedure to keep the vehicle’s performance in optimal condition and to prolong lifespan.
Fluid change cannot completely drain out the old oil in the system. At most, fluid change can only change about 20%-40% of the total volume. It is not also efficient to remove grime, debris, and sludge that built up over time in the system. Such substances can block the channels and valves that hinder the normal flow of the fluid in the transmission. If left alone, the transmission could suffer from internal damages and could reduce its lifespan.
The debris can also deteriorate the performance of the vehicle and furthermore, can result in complication while driving. Cars Direct provided a list of signs that represent the presence of debris in the transmission.
- Strange noises while shifting gears
- Improper respond of gears
- Slipping gears
- Surging of the vehicle
- Delay in the vehicle movement
Meanwhile, flushing the transmission can drain out all the old oil in the system. The efficiency of flushing out the oil is about 90% – 95%.
To assess the applicability of the flushing procedure, diagnose and check-up of the transmission are a must. The car makers also provide vital information regarding the necessity and applicability of flushing written on the car’s maintenance manual. Service providers also recommend performing transmission flush for every 30,000 mileage reached or 2 years.
Average Cost of Transmission Flush
Well, the cost of the procedure is mostly affected by the car make, model, and year of the vehicle. But the transmission flush usually prices around $125-$300. The cost efficiency of flushing is justifiable by comparing the implication for a broken transmission.
Based on the statistics provided by KASPA Transmissions, about 90% of transmission failures are because of overheating or due to contamination in the fluid system. To rebuild a transmission, it usually costs around $2,000 up to $5,000. In such consideration, flushing is a great preventive measure in comparison to a typical oil change.
Dealers like Hyundai provide specific vehicle maintenance services like transmission flush in their center. The cost of the service has a starting price of $250 and may vary depending on the assessment. Meanwhile, shops like Midas in Madison charge around $150-$210 for an automatic transmission flush. Pep Boys also provides such service around $130-$180 per package.
What are Included
The flushing service in shops is typically in packages with inclusions of essential tune-ups. Pep Boys’ package costs around $130 which includes trained technicians, chemical flush to clean the transmission and replacement of all old fluids. Another package includes the cleaning or replacement of the filter and gasket but adds $50 to the overall cost.
Midas includes test drive monitor performance, scanning using computers to determine the condition of the transmission, full inspection, chemical flushing and total fluid change with an overall cost of $150. There is an option to avail a special transmission fluid that adds $50. Additional services like replacement of the filter, pan, and gasket increase the cost by $50.
Shopping for Transmission Flush Service
The flushing of transmission is available at the service center of dealers and even at quick lube shops. The dealers are more preferred for availing flushing service due to the warranty. But to those without a warranty can go to quick lube shop for a cheaper service fee. Cost quotation is available at the service provider’s website for a quick fact gathering.
Factors Affecting the Transmission Flush Price
- Type of vehicle
The carmaker, model and year of the vehicle have a huge impact on the cost of a transmission flush. Latest and high mileage cars usually cost more due to the complexity of the procedures. In some instances, old models can also yield higher cost depending on the supply of adequate spare parts. Automatic transmissions can also increase the price because of the involvement of various complicated moving parts.
The location of the shop can directly impact the price due to the cost of labor. Cities with a higher cost of living usually have higher labor rates. Shops usually include the additional cost for their service.
- Type of Shop
Quick lube shops provide cheaper flushing services in comparison to the dealers. Even so, it is important to find a reliable and competent provider since transmission flush is a delicate procedure. But the experience and specialty of the staff in the service center of dealers should be factored in the decision. Also, parts and equipment are much more available in service centers.
- Type of Flush Machine
There are two types of machines that are usually being used. The pump inlet flush machine increases the transmission flush price because the machine operates with pumps to change the fluid in the system. Meanwhile, a cooler line flush machine which is usually used by quick lube shops is cheaper to operate since it does not involve any electronic.
- Type and Amount of Fluid
The type of fluid to be used for the vehicle can significantly change the cost of the service. Conventional oil or petroleum-based transmission fluid is much cheaper and effective. However, synthetic oil can last longer than petroleum-based fluids and improves the overall performance of the transmission.
The volume required to change the oil completely is the capacity plus the amount of fresh fluid to flush out the old oil in the system. Pump inlet flush machine usually uses 20 quarts of fluid to flush out the 15 quarts of the old fluid.
- Miscellaneous Services
The procedure usually requires the removal of the pan and the replacement of the filter as part of the maintenance. Such services can yield additional cost but essential in extending the lifespan of the transmission.
- Coupons and Vouchers
Some of the service providers have a discount available on their website. The discount is usually in a form of coupon and reduces the original price about $10-$20. Service providers also use vouchers as means of awarding the loyalty of their customers. Voucher is exchangeable for a discount on certain services or other automotive products
- Warranty and Guarantee
How much does a transmission flush costs when there is a warranty? It depends on the coverage of the warranty provided by the dealers. In certain instances, the warranty covers free labor or free spare parts. Meanwhile, the guarantee provided by shops protects the worthiness of the paid spare parts or the services provided. Guarantee usually covers free fixes when there are complications during the effective period.